'Shrek The Third'
(Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas, John Cleese, et al / PG / 93 mins / Dreamworks)
Overview: Shrek (Mike Myers) has his life of ease in the swamp threatened when his father-in-law, King Harold (John Cleese), falls ill and he is next in line to assume the throne. To avoid his royal duties, the jolly green slacker enlists Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) to help him find a replacement before Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) can object.
Verdict: I wanted to like this more than I did. I was a big hater of the first film because I thought it was too adult for the target demo of tiny kids. (Anyone remember the sexual innuendo gags about Snow White and those seven men she lives with? I do.) Things turned around for me, though, when I saw the second one; it was less obnoxious and generally funnier and smarter all around. And now it seems like they've run out of ideas and are content to just go right for the butt-scratching jokes. It starts out funny, front-loaded with all the best bits, before settling into the let's-just-sell-more-toys phase.
All the "Ye Olde Foot Locker" and "Versarchery" jokes are just so tired now. It was funny the first couple of times, the product placement that isn't exactly product placement (but still sort of is), but now it just feels like what happens when you stretch a joke with your friends past the point of making each other laugh, and you're just doing it to keep doing it!